|by Rebecca Armstrong
"My friend wants me to attend the church with them this Sunday and talk with the minister. I have no idea what to say to him."
Meeting the pastor is easy. Just be you! Say hello--say whatever you want to say. Because you are in Christ and his spirit is in you, relationship is ministry. Consider starting with "first date" level of conversation: Talk about the weather, ask about his kids, his hobbies, comment on his tie. Don't worry about what you'll say to impress him, rather concentrate on getting to know him, finding a place of connection, making him feel comfortable. If you're comfortable, he'll be comfortable. If there's an opportunity for relationship, it will build naturally from there.
Establish common ground. Speak positively about specific points in the sermon, listen for and comment on the gospel. (Unless you're specifically asked, ignore what's-not-the-gospel for now and focus on whatever truth you heard in the preaching.) You might say something like, "I was really encouraged when you said Jesus makes us righteous" or "It is so encouraging to be reminded of how much God loves us." Avoid the temptation to rush into law/grace debates. A healthy relationship will present ample opportunities to discuss theology.
Bring along a copy of Believing is Seeing or 52 Faith Building Activities for kids. Tell him you were looking forward to meeting him and you have a gift for him. A gift-book is a non-threatening way to communicate the hope of the gospel.
Have a wonderful time and let me know how it goes!
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